Basketball: Utah game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 81, Utah 45. Bears improve to 15-4, 5-1 in the Pac-12 and are tied for first place. Utah is 4-13, 1-4 in the conference. Cal is 13-0 at Haas — equaling its best start at home since the 1959-60 season, when the Bears reached the Final Four for the second straight season. Gutierrez had 15 points and six assists, Cobbs had 14 points and a career-best 11 assists. Kamp had 14 points, Crabbe and Murray each had 10 — a best for Murray. Twelve different players scored for Cal, including Rossi, who made his first shot as a college player, and freshman Christian Behrens, who had four points and three rebounds. 

4:04 2nd H: Redshirt freshman guard Alex Rossi enters the game for the first time in a season-and-a-half. Rossi has battled a lingering lower-abdominal injury since the start of his freshman season. With 2:44 left, he made his first college shot.

6:06 2nd H: Cal leads 67-33. Montgomery has removed most of his starters — perhaps for good. Gutierrez has 15 points and six assists, Cobbs 14 points and nine assists and Kamp 14 points and six rebounds.

11:53 2nd H: Cal leads 47-27. Bears have gotten a little sloppy — four turnovers in their past seven possessions — but the Utes are no threat at this point. Kamp has 14 points, Cobbs 12 and Gutierrez 10.

15:54 2nd H: Cal has made its first five shots of the second half and leads 43-22 — its biggest margin of the night. Cobbs has five points, including a 3-pointer, and Crabbe, Kamp and Gutierrez all have baskets. This one is just about over.

HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 32, Utah 15. The Utes had only 10 points until Chris Hines hit a 3-pointer with 1:31 left. Still, Utah shot just 6 for 23 — 26.1 percent — for the half. Kamp has 10 points. Cobbs has seven points and four assists. Gutierrez has six points. Bears shot 48.4 percent in the half with just three turnovers. If Mike Montgomery will have any complaint with his team — the Bears did not attempt a free throw in the half.

2:46 1st H: Cal leads 26-10. The Bears have outscored Utah 20-3 over the past 11 1/2 minutes. Utah is shooting 4 for 20 for the game — 20 percent — and has one field goal in its past 17 possessions.

7:22 1st H: Cal has scored 14 straight and leads 20-7. Emerson Murray off the bench to hit a 3-pointer and convert a tipin. Utah has gone nine possessions without scoring and is shooting 3 for 14. Utah has had 18 possessions in the game and scored on three of them. Bears now shooting 43 percent.

11:14 1st H: Cal extends its lead to 13-7. The Bears are in the midst of a 7-0 run. Kamp now has eight points. Solomon already has four rebounds — in 2 1/2 minutes. Cal shooting 6 for 14; Utah is 3 for 11 and scoreless on past five possessions.

13:55 1st H: Cal leads 9-7. Kamp has a pair of baskets and three rebounds. Cal shooting 4 for 10 with one turnover. Utah is 3 for 7 with four turnovers. Solomon coming in for Kravish.

LINEUPS: For Utah, Chris Hines, Josh Watkins, Cedric Martin, Dijon Farr and Jason Washburn. For Cal, Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez, Justin Cobbs, David Kravish and Harper Kamp.

THIS SCORE JUST IN: Arizona State beats Oregon State 76-66 in Tempe. Cal-Utah the final Pac-12 game of the night.

WELCOME: The Bears (14-4, 4-1) take on the Utes (4-12, 1-3), needing a victory to keep pace with Stanford at the top of the Pac-12 standings. The Bears are out warming up now, without Brandon Smith. Apparently, the junior from De La Salle HS still hasn’t been cleared after suffering a concussion nine days ago at Oregon State. Will be back with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • ken1w

    Well, it was fun seeing the “far end” of the bench play. They looked pretty solid as a group; they must get a lot of practice together as the scout team. And great to see Rossi looking healthy.

    If Cal and Stanford are still tied for 1st (or #1 and #2), Jan. 29th will be a VERY interesting day. Glad that one’s at Cal.

  • Gobears49

    Cal has the top talent in the league and the bench is getting deeper. Guiterrez and Crabbe will probably be first team Pac-12 and Cobbs and Kamp will likely be second team. If not, at least three of them will make either the first or second team.

    The other bigs (Kravish and Soloman) are good and Kravish is getting better. Soloman seems to better understand that his primary job is to get rebounds and block shots, not score. Smith was an adequate starter and a really good reserve. Thurman is an unexpected surprise at reserve forward and appears to be able to add significant minutes. If Murray can continue to play like he did against Utah, that would be a very welcome surprise addition to the bench strength, although I’ve never thought he was a good shooter. Hope the Utah game was not an aberration. Maybe Rossi will come out of nowhere and be able to contribute significantly by year end.

    This appears to be a Cal team that is jelling during the year, like all good Montgomery teams, and will be ready for post-season play. I would not be surprised if Cal can win two games in the NCAA’s. Cal’s only weakness is when they play teams with a lot of big, powerful guys up front. That’s when they don’t match up well and get beat up, and beat, like the Missouri game.

    This could likely be Cal’s last excellent team for years unless recruiting picks up.